Saturday, May 26, 2012

REVIEW: Losing Elizabeth

Title: Losing Elixabeth
Author: Tanya J. Peterson
Grade: A+

Summery from Amazon
High school junior Elizabeth Carter is self-confident and outgoing with a bright future. Life is good for Elizabeth, then she meets Brad Evans. To those on the outside, and even to Elizabeth at first, her life gets even better with Brad. Slowly and insidiously, though, Brad takes control of Elizabeth. Is she really as lucky as she thinks she is? What price is she willing to pay to be this popular, charming, attractive senior boy's girlfriend? Is she envied...or pitied? Most importantly, does she have to lose herself in order to be Brad's significant other?

Elizabeth is a high school junior, who is a star tennis player. She admires Brad Evans, the boy she is dying to  date, and is shocked when Brad takes an interest in her. As their relationship starts to unfold, Brad becomes very controlling of Elizabeth, and the worst part is, Elizabeth does not even realize. Elizabeth starts to lose everything is her life for Brad. Her friends try to warn her, but she doesn't listen. Elizabeth needs to get her act together before it is too late.

This book had me from the first page. Once I picked it up, I literally could not put it down. The development of the relationship between Elizabeth and Brad sucks you in. Everyone that has heard of abusive relationships always thinks that if they were in that position they would be able to get out quickly. As I read this book I started to feel for Elizabeth and see how hard it truly is to get out of an abusive relationship. Brad takes over Elizabeth;s entire life and causes Elizabeth to think that she is nothing without Brad and nothing else matters in her life except their relationship. It was easy for me to imagine myself as Elizabeth and how twisted you life becomes when you are in this type of relationship. It was also nice to see how loyal Elizabeth's friends were even when Elizabeth turned her back on them. I hope that my friends would be that loyal to me. 

I suggest this book to everyone and anyone. This book gives you an inside scoop to a controlling and abusive relationship. This is something that so many people is this world can relate to.  You can visit Tanya's website to read more about Losing Elizabeth and her other books.

Happy Reading!

*I was sent this book for review. All views are my own and are not influenced by others.

Monday, May 21, 2012

REVIEW: Xor: The Shape of Darkness

Title: Xor:The Shape of Darkness
Author: Moshe Sipper
Source: Review from Author
Grade: B+

Synopsis from the back of the book:
On his twelfth birthday Lewis Nash comes home from school to find that his house has blown up to smithereens, killing his father. Having lost his mother in an accident four years earlier, Lewis realizes he is now an orphan — but he has no time to dwell on it. The moment he gets off the school bus a fearsome wolf-man tries to grab him. The boy is saved in the nick of time by Master Long, who reveals to him that he’s a Shaper from a place called Xor, which is being devoured by the Realm Pirates. Lewis learns that he must do his utmost to become the powerful Shaper he was destined to be. 

Because, it would seem, he’s the one and only chance Xor has.

I was very intrigued when I read the synopsis for this book.  On his way home from school, Lewis finds his house blown apart and his father killed. He is then kidnapped and taken to a different world: Xor. Lewis finds out that he is a very powerful person on Xor and it is up to him to save Xor from complete destruction. Along the way Lewis meets many elaborate creatures and adventurous places. Lewis must find it in himself to push all of his sadness from the death or his father and mother, and focus on the task ahead.

This book was very magical and whimsical. The characters are very unique and not like any other characters in any other book. I enjoyed being swept along into the land of Xor and being caught up with the destruction of the planet Xor. It was a very easy and quick read. I also really liked that the plot was not drawn out. From page 1, the reader is instantly caught up into Lewis and the land of Xor.  I think this book would be enjoyed by pre-teens and young teens. At almost 300 pages long, I thought the book was a little too long for the age group I think the book is aimed for.  Moshe Sipper does not have a website, but you can read more about Xor on the book's Amazon page.

Happy Reading!

*I was sent this book for review. All thoughts are my own and are not influenced by others.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

REVIEW: Starlette Universe:'Cat'astrophe

Title: Starlette Universe:'Cat'astrophe
Author: Kathy Johnson
Source: Review from publisher
Grade: C

Synopsis from Amazon
The core themes of STARLETTE UNIVERSE are good vs. evil, God vs. the devil, the Starlettes vs. Eva Deneval. When six Spruce Pine High students form a friendship club to fight injustice and wrong at their school, they meet the ultimate 'mean' girl, Eva the Evil, who has the ability to morph into a variety of monsters, be it a werewolf, zombie, vampire or undead head. Against all odds, the Starlettes, fun-loving beauties, emerge victorious and defeat Eva and her wicked forces from hell. Kathy Johnson, lawyer, author, and mother of Miss Vermont 1999 and Miss Vermont USA 2001, has just released the first in a series of ST ARLETTE UNNERSE books aimed at 'tween and teen girls, ages 10-16. Written in poetic rhyme and pun-filled prose, STARLETTE UNIVERSE books are serious, yet humorous, and full of life lessons for girls. There are several distinguishing characteristics: (l) 'Starlette-isms', or word play, give shine to the storyline. (2) 'Sparkles', or rules for living, aid the girls in making good decisions. (3) 'Unique-speak', or each girl's different talk, makes her personality glow. Dick Kulpa has successfully turned the six Starlettes into America's sweetarts' with his cover art and colorful illustrations. He is former publisher of Cracked Magazine, creator of Bat Boy, and a three-time syndicated newspaper comic strip cartoonist. The overriding premise of STARLETTE UNIVERSE is that evil and Eva are allowed to exist but that good and the Starlettes will ultimately prevail. After entering STARLETTE UNIVERSE, all readers are faced with a decision: Team GOOD? Or Team D.evil?

 I was initially excited about this book when I read the synopsis. The plot sounded intriguing. Six unique girls that form a group to fight the evil of the world, all while staying fabulous! But, as soon as I started reading it I was lost.  As the synopsis says, the book is written like a poem and includes many puns. This book is aimed for young adult girls. I just graduated from college and I have to say I struggled following the puns and the rhymes. It was hard to always understand what the characters were trying to say or do because they used different spellings of words, puns, and different sayings. It was also a very slow moving plot. The majority of the book is about rescuing a cat. This process goes from page 4 to 43. There was little that happened between those pages. I actually struggled to finish the book. I think that young girls are going to have a hard time following what was happening and being continually hooked into the plot. The will also struggle with the puns included in the spelling of words and phrases. Overall, I was not very impressed by the book. If you like reading puns, I think you will enjoy it, otherwise I would probably not pick it up.

Happy reading!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Review: Comeback: Overcoming the Setbacks in your Life

Title: Comeback: Overcoming the Setback in your Life
Author: Rick McDaniel
Source: Review from Publisher
Grade B

Synopsis from the back of the book
On the field of life, we all experience setbacks—bad decisions, job loss, divorce, health problems. Even countries around the world have experienced an economic setback due to the recession. Though we all experience setbacks, no one wants to take a step back. The good news is that a comeback is possible for anyone. Rick McDaniel will show you causes for your setbacks and lessons you can learn from them. He will help you to get ready for your comeback and guide you to the components and steps needed to make it happen. Along the way, he will share many inspiring stories of comebacks. Too many people allow their setback to be a step back. McDaniel will teach you setbacks do not control your life. If you have experienced a setback and are ready for your comeback, then this is for you.

Many people face situations in their life that they feel are impossible to overcome. This may be a health issue, family issue, loss of job, etc... When people are faced with these tough situations, it is hard to think towards the future and not to dwell on the past. McDaniel's book talks about how to overcome these setbacks. He uses scriptures and stories as examples. These examples show that even if you may think your life is over, it is possible to move on and even become a better person because of what you have faced.

I was not overly impressed by this book. It was an easy and quick read, but it was not something I would probably read again. I do not watch sports or play sports (except for dance, which many people do not think is a sport, but I will spare you my lecture). Many of his examples of people overcoming setbacks involved athletes. Because I am not a sports fan these did not excite me. I didn't even know half of the people or events he was talking about.  My favorite part of the book was the very end, where  McDaniel listed his top ten greatest setbacks. It was interesting to read how different people overcame setbacks in their lives. I also really liked McDaniel's use of scripture. I am a Christian so I like the encouragement to look to the Bible to help you overcome what you are facing.Overall, I would not read this again,but I suggest this for people who are struggling with setbacks. I think that for sports fans this would be a great book to read! 

Happy Reading!

*I was sent this book for review. All thoughts are my own and are not influenced by others.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Title: Shut Up
Author: Anne Tibbets
Source: Publisher for review
Grade: A

Synopsis from the back of the book
Mary’s older sister, Gwen, has royally screwed up her life.  Not only is Gwen pregnant at seventeen, but she’s also decided to marry The Creep who knocked her up. Now Mary is powerless to stop her family from imploding.  Her parents are freaking out, and to top it off, The Creep has a gross fascination with Mary while Gwen enjoys teasing her to tears for sport.   Despite her brother’s advice to shut up, Mary can’t keep her trap closed and manages to piss off Mom so much it comes to blows. Mary doesn’t know what to do, and all her attempts to get help are rejected.  When she finally plans her escape, she fails to consider how it could destroy them all.\

I was completely blown away by this book. It is only 108 pages long but boy does it produce an amazing product! As the synopsis says, Mary has a rough family life. Her oldest sister, Gwen, is pregnant and engaged to The Creep. Her parents are very consumed with Gwen's upcoming wedding, pregnancy, and drama filled relationship. Mary ends up being the brunt of everyone's frustration. She is even yelled at for breathing to loud at one point. Her parents and sister are verbally abusive and at times physically abusive towards her. She can never do anything right. She ends up breaking under the pressure and taking some very drastic measures that she hopes will change her life for the better.

As I said this was a very short book, but Tibbets packs a lot into such a short space. I really liked that it got right to the point of the book. There was one part that really got to me. Mary turns up at school with huge welts on the backs of her legs that her mother gave her the night before. Mary's teacher is concerned, like any teacher should be, and asks her about them. When Mary tries to explain what happened her teacher blows her off as being over dramatic. I am a teacher so this really hit home. If I ever saw one of my students with any sort of suspected abuse I would ask an then hear what they have to say. I would NEVER blow off a child. As a teacher you are mandated to report any suspected abuse. It broke my heart that just when Mary thought someone would help her, she gets pushed to the side. That was definitely a part of the book that hit home.

This book was a very quick read. I actually finished it in one day. I suggest this book to everyone! I think it is a book that everyone can relate to and will really open peoples eyes to what goes on behind some peoples closed doors. Thank you Ann for writing such a thought provoking and touching book! I loved it! You can read more about Shut Up and other books at Ann's blog.

Happy Reading!

*I was sent this book for review. All opinions are my own and not influenced by others.